Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in response to the address by Ambassador Florian Raunig, Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, 1017th Permanent Council

Tacan İldem 18.09.2014
Thank you Mr. Chairperson,

I would like to join the previous speakers in warmly welcoming Ambassador Raunig to the Permanent Council and thank him for his comprehensive presentation.

Turkey entertains exemplary bilateral relations with Albania firmly rooted in a common history and shared cultural values. The most recent concrete manifestation of the strength of our relations was the decision to establish a High Level Strategic Cooperation Council during the Albanian Foreign Minister Bushati’s visit to Turkey last April. It is only natural, therefore, that we attach utmost importance to the continuing progress Albania scores in every field, including the successful implementation of its OSCE commitments.

Since the last report of the Presence, Albania has made important strides in the democratization and strengthening of its institutions through an ambitious reform process. We commend the Presence’s work in encouraging and assisting this reform process in the country. Albania’s achievements particularly in the field of fighting corruption, tackling organized crime, improving public administration and preventing trafficking of people and drugs with the continuous support of the Presence deserve our praise. What we have witnessed so far is a constructive relationship between the Presence and the Government of Albania, whose maintenance is of crucial importance to preserving the positive process in the country.

Mr. Chairperson,

Turkey supports Albania’s full integration with Euro-Atlantic structures and therefore welcomes the European Council’s June 2014 decision to grant Albania candidate status. This is a significant development recognizing the important progress that Albania has achieved so far, and encouraging it for further reforms. It will also contribute to stability in Southeast Europe, in view of the important role that Albania plays in the region.
Finally, we encourage the Presence to continue adapting its works in conformity with the host country’s evolving needs and expectations. We call on the Presence to continue focusing on the development of state institutions and capacity-building. Turkey is ready to contribute to the Presence’s efforts in this direction.

While concluding, we would like to thank Ambassador Raunig and his able team for their valuable work once again, and wish them every success in their future endeavors.

Thank you.